The island of Phuket is the richest province of Thailand. Tourism is the main source of income. Although most tourists spend their holiday at the beaches, the capital of the province, Phuket Town or Phuket City, is more than worth a visit.
Phuket Town (Phuket City) - continued
Before we can leave the town of Phuket we have to take a look at some more old buildings there. In this case I focus on two hotels.
In Ratsade Road you can see the almost forgotten glory of the Thavorn Hotel. It was one of the first hotels in this town and it was the first one with an elevator. People all over Thailand came three to see this miracle of technique. Nowadays the monumental stairs in the middle of the hall is about the only thing that remains. The cafeteria, that was almost a museum, is an ordinary shop now. The restaurant has been spoiled and now has lost all its glory. When you pass it, look inside to see the stairs (left hand side picture above) before that is gone too!
Another hotel with a rich history in Phuket Town is the Pearl Hotel. The cinema, that belonged to it is gone, the bowling hall is gone, the shopping mall hardly is interesting any more. What remains, and is still worthwhile, are the rooftop restaurant with authentic Chinese Cuisine and Chinese music, and the cafeteria on street level with some unique old furniture, like the bar (right hand side picture).
More places where all of Phuket gathered in the past are gone now. The very famous restaurant of Mae Porn was taken down in order to build a bank. Although it still exists in some outskirt of Phuket (left hand side picture) it no longer is a place where "everybody meets everybody".
Further attractions in Phuket Town:
Rang Hill, where you get a fine view over Phuket Town and some more of the island. You will also see the statue of a former Phuket Governor there. See the two pictures above. Simply walk up and down the hill. It takes about 15 minutes. If you are a bird watcher, look for some rare birds there. There is a good restaurant on top of the hill.
A last attraction I want to point at in Phuket Town, is Saphan Hin (left hand side picture). You get there with the "pink bus" (the public Phuket City bus), line 1. Saphan Hin is the place where festivals are being held and the place to eat excellent seafood in an open air restaurant.
There also is a tiny little bit of mangrove forest left over in Saphan Hin too (right hand side picture). It is not much, but still, it is there. There is a walkway through this tiny bit of forest. It is near the pond (and the monument).
A tour around the island
It is getting time now to leave Phuket Town (Phuket City) and I will lead you around the island.
I will not show you around in a systematic way. I will just lead you along some of the sights. It is easy enough for you to locate the sights and make a tour in the order that is convenient for you.
Let us go a bit to the South first. A place you should visit, if you are interested in nature, is the Phuket Aquarium. You can take a bus or songthaew to there from near the market building in Phuket Town. It is not very large, but there are many fishes to be seen that you probably have not see often, if at all. See an example on the left hand side picture. This is a fish, more than a meter long. The building is nicely situated near the sea and has a fine view (right hand side picture).
When you go further south, you pass Rawai Beach, a very quiet beach resort with some good fish restaurants just above the sea. The picture (left) was taken in the evening, just before sundown. If you are looking for a quiet holiday, this might be your choice.
Also in the deep south of Phuket is Promthep Cape (right hand side picture), a place famous for its sundowns. I must admit, however, that I have never in all the years I come in Thailand, seen a decent sundown there!